The pill

We are able to provide the contraceptive pill to patients aged 18 and under. Patients aged over 18 will need a prescription form their GP.

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The combined pill

The combined pill is usually referred to as ‘the pill’. It contains two hormones – oestrogen and progestogen. These are similar to the natural hormones women produce in their ovaries.

The main way the pill works is to stop the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation). It also:

  • thickens the mucus from your cervix. This makes it difficult for sperm to move through it and reach an egg
  • makes the lining of your uterus (womb) thinner so it is less likely to accept a fertilised egg

If the pill is taken according to instructions, it is over 99% effective. This means that less than one woman in 100 will get pregnant in a year.

the combined pill

Progestogen-only pill

The progestogen-only pill (POP) contains a progestogen hormone which is similar to the natural progesterone women produce in their ovaries.

POPs contain different types of progestogens. POPs containing desogestrel will be named specifically where relevant on this page. If you are not sure what type of progestogen is in your POP, check the patient information leaflet inside your pack or ask your doctor or nurse. The POP works in a number of ways:

  • the main action of desogestrel POPs is to stop your ovaries releasing an egg (ovulation)

  • all POPs work by thickening the mucus from your cervix. This makes it difficult for sperm to move through it and reach an egg
  • all POPs make the lining of your uterus (womb) thinner, so it is less likely to accept a fertilised egg

If taken according to instructions, the POP is over 99% effective. This means that less than one woman in 100 will get pregnant in a year.

pro pill only